Solutions to Tackle Labor and Supply Chain Shortages

In 2023, 77% of operators say their restaurant experienced supply delays or shortages of key food or beverage items.

Were you one of them?

From staple ingredients to signature beverages, the turbulence in the supply chain shook the foundation of countless independent eateries. But it wasn’t just limited to the pantry; the scarcity extended its grip to the labor force as well.

Supply Chain Struggles

Behind the scenes of every successful restaurant lies a complex web of suppliers, distributors, and logistics networks. Here are some of the key challenges and struggles you’ve probably faced along the way:

  • Cost Pressures
  • Procurement Predicaments
  • Distribution Dilemmas
  • Quality Control Quandaries
  • Menu Flexibility Constraints
  • Sustainability Struggles

Labor Pains

Labor shortages cast a long shadow over the bustling kitchens of independent restaurants, where every pair of hands is essential for success. Here’s a closer look at the challenges and struggles they endure:

  • Recruitment Roadblocks
  • Retention Woes
  • Training Troubles
  • Workforce Flexibility Constraints
  • Wage Pressures

Strategies for Success

Let’s explore practical strategies to navigate supply chain shortages and labor challenges, essential for independent restaurant operators aiming for success.

Leverage Speed Scratch Solutions

Prepping for the bustling morning or afternoon rush can be a marathon of chopping, mixing, and simmering. But what if there was a way to shave precious minutes off your prep time without compromising on flavor or quality?

Enter speed-scratch solutions.

Unleash Flavor with Unilever

A leader in providing speed-scratch solutions for chefs is Unilever. With its superior taste, performance, and convenience, Unilever offers menu solutions that provide easy prep and bold rich flavors, such as:

Elevate Taste and Simplify Prep with Custom Culinary

Custom Culinary pre-made bases and sauces deliver an extensive array of chef-inspired flavor systems that will simplify your operation. Enhance your signature dishes with Custom Culinary high-quality ingredients and authentic flavors that meet true convenience in their cooked-from-scratch concentrates.

Use Versatile Time-Savers like idahoan

Potatoes—a staple ingredient in countless culinary creations, yet a notorious time sink in the kitchen. Enter Idahoan, the savior of time-crunched chefs everywhere. Certified 100% Idaho Potatoes, Idahoan offers a plethora of labor-saving solutions, from crispy hash browns to velvety mashed potatoes.

Incorporate Scratch-Quality Proteins

When time is of the essence and labor is scarce, turning to pre-cooked proteins can be a game-changer for your kitchen.

Here are some top picks to elevate your dishes with minimal prep:

Hormel’s Perfectly Cooked Breakfast Sausage

Say goodbye to the hassle of grilling breakfast sausage from scratch. Hormel‘s premium breakfast sausage is fully cooked to perfection, saving you valuable prep time. With less grease, less waste, and exceptional flavor, it’s the ideal choice for a hearty breakfast without the extra effort.

Traditional Fully Cooked Meatballs from Hormel

Forget the tedious process of mixing, rolling, and frying meatballs from scratch. Hormel‘s traditional fully cooked meatballs are crafted from select cuts of beef, pork, and a blend of Italian spices. With authentic flavor and convenience in every bite, they’re a time-saving solution for your favorite meatball dishes.

Hormel’s Slow-Cooked Pork Carnitas

From tacos to omelets, pork carnitas add a burst of flavor to any dish. Hormel’s fully cooked carnitas are marinated with garlic and citrus flavors, then slow-cooked for hours in the bag for maximum tenderness and flavor. With Hormel, you can execute the perfect dish with minimal effort, leaving more time to focus on serving up culinary excellence.

SweetEN Success with Ready-to-Go Desserts

No meal is truly complete without a tantalizing dessert to satisfy every sweet tooth. But when your kitchen staff is stretched thin, finding the time to whip up homemade treats can seem like an impossible feat.

Thankfully, with ready-to-go dessert solutions, you can indulge your guests without breaking a sweat.

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery

With Sara Lee Frozen Bakery, dessert has never been more convenient or delicious. Takes the hassle out of dessert prep with their lineup of ready-to-go desserts, including:

Simply thaw, serve, and delight your guests with premium-quality treats that require minimal labor and bring profitability to your bottom line.


Beyond the plate with technology

In the face of labor shortages, the right tech stack emerges as a hero for independent restaurant operators. With its transformative power, a well-chosen tech arsenal can streamline operations, optimize resource allocation, and mitigate the impact of staffing challenges across various facets of restaurant management.

Back Office Automation

Bid farewell to time-consuming administrative tasks with back office automation. With Back Office technology, you can streamline tasks such as:

By digitizing mundane processes, restaurant operators can free up valuable time and resources to focus on strategic decision-making and customer service.

Supply Chain Management

Navigating the complexities of the supply chain becomes infinitely more manageable with the right technology tools. Real-time tracking, inventory management, and forecasting provide invaluable insights into inventory levels, demand patterns, and supplier performance. By optimizing procurement processes and minimizing stockouts, restaurants can ensure uninterrupted operations and enhance customer satisfaction.

Spend Management

Controlling costs and maximizing profitability are paramount in the face of labor shortages. Spend management platforms offer visibility into expenses across various categories, allowing operators to identify inefficiencies and opportunities for savings.

By leveraging data-driven insights, restaurants can make informed decisions about resource allocation, vendor selection, and pricing strategies to maintain financial health in challenging times.


Join Dining Alliance TOday

In the face of these challenges, Dining Alliance stands ready to assist independent operators. We leverage the collective buying power of thousands of restaurants to negotiate deals with suppliers, passing on savings and offering solutions to alleviate supply chain strains and labor shortages.

Fill out the form below and join Dining Alliance today!